The CZU Lightning Complex Fire continues to burn. Consequently, I had been unable to return home until just a few hours ago. My garden survived the abandonment better than expected. I will get pictures for next week. These pictures are from where I was in the Santa Clara Valley. I noticed a few features that I forgot that I disliked about urban situations. Of course, Rhody found something to appreciate about our situation there. He was in no hurry to return home.

1. Breeze in the silver maple should be appreciated on a warm day. While the fires are burning in the Santa Cruz Mountains just several miles away, an absence of breeze would be preferred.

2. Raindrops should likewise be appreciated. Unfortunately, there were no more than a few, and certainly not enough to slow a fire. They only indicated that more dry lightning was possible.P00829-2

3. Smoke was thicker over the Santa Clara Valley than I can ever remember. All those utility cables crowded by too many trees are normal though. I thought this picture was rather artistic.P00829-3

4. Fences are a bother too. This one shades lower branches of a nearby pear tree, that grew up with a shorter slat fence. The neighbor’s garage shows how close the homes are to each other.P00829-4

5. Soil is fortunately as awesome as it has always been in the Santa Clara Valley. It is unfortunate that so few of the more than a million who live here now will never bother to experience it.P00829-5

6. Rhody expressed his opinion of my request that he stay off of the sofa while here. Does the floral pattern of the upholstery qualify this as a horticultural subject? We all want to see Rhody! P00829-6

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:


34 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Urban Flight

  1. It’s been so horrifying seeing the news of your wildfires, and I’m happy that your garden (and home, I presume) was spared. I expected you would have said, instead of “utility cables crowded by too many trees” – ‘trees crowded by too many utility cables’ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, as an arborist, much of my work involves clearance for utility cables. In rural regions, the cables were installed through forests. In most urban areas, trees were installed after the cables. Amusingly, I planted all the trees in the picture, and the poplar is the last of SIX that I planted in a formal row directly under the cables. They were pollarded nicely for many years.


    1. There are firefighters here from all over the place! Some are leaving, but more continue to arrive to replace them. The lodgings at work have been unused since the Coronavirus situation, and were evacuated because of the fire, but may now become a camp for many of the firefighters.


    1. Box elders? I tolerate them because they are native in riparian situations of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Although I never worked with them in the Santa Clara Valley, there are many right outside here along the Zayante Creek. When I returned, I found that they had dropped much of their foliage. I got a picture of it for next week. They are an odd species. I recently recycled an old article about how many of them have been dying off here.


      1. It is not exactly desirable here either, although it is not invasive. There are cultivars of it that became available in the 1990s, but I have not seen them since then. They were rather weak.


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